Posts Tagged ‘antioxidants’

Vanilla Is Anything But Plain

Sunday, December 14th, 2014
The vanilla flower is a gorgeous orchid, shown with the dried seed pods used for pure, natural vanilla spice

The vanilla flower is a gorgeous orchid, shown with the dried seed pods used for pure, natural vanilla spice

This Enticing, Aromatic Spice Protects Your Health In Five Ways

Vanilla has an image problem. The run-of-the-mill perception is that vanilla is a plain and boring choice. Once you learn about this extraordinary spice, your appreciation may change. In fact, vanilla is a rare, expensive, and health-enhancing flavor.

Vanilla is produced from the seeds of a tropical climbing orchid that grows as a vine. Native to Mexico, vanilla was used by the Aztecs in the chocolate drink of their royalty. The bees and hummingbirds that pollinate this orchid (more…)

Will Fruit Make You Fat?

Friday, June 13th, 2014
Fruit sampling is a farmers market favorite for kids and their parents as well

Fruit sampling is a farmers market favorite for kids and their parents as well

Fears of Fruit Flood Ill-Informed Diets

Controversy swirls around the question of whether people who are overweight should eat fruit. On the one hand, this food is regarded as the embodiment of health, unprocessed and rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and other beneficial substances. But then there is the myth that (more…)

Are Veggie Meats Healthy?

Saturday, February 15th, 2014
More and more people are choosing veggie burgers over animal foods, for better health, superior taste, and kindness to animals and the planet

More and more people are choosing veggie burgers over animal foods, for better health, superior taste, and kindness to animals and the planet

Three Simple Tips to Find the Best Ones

Veggies “meats” are plant-based versions of chicken, fish, burgers, and other animal foods. These foods are soaring in popularity, as more and more people are cutting way back on how much meat they eat, but are looking for convenient substitutes for their usual menu items.

The healthfulness of veggie meats depends on two things. The first is your point of view. Are you comparing these foods to (more…)

Five Reasons to Make Black Pepper a Favorite Spice

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Black pepper is an inexpensive, common spice with a long list of health benefits

Black pepper is an inexpensive, common spice with a long list of health benefits

Black Pepper Sprinkles Unexpected Health Benefits and Pungent Taste

Sometimes you seek health by expensive, exotic means; you may fail to see the benefits right in front of you in everyday, low cost foods that you take for granted. Such is the case with black pepper.

This common spice has long been a personal favorite. I rarely eat lunch or dinner without enjoying the mildly spicy, distinct taste and enticing aroma of freshly ground black pepper. Finally, I stopped and asked myself “What are the benefits of this food I eat multiple times a day?,” heading to medical journals to see who else had asked this question and what they found out.

Black pepper, called “the king of spices,” is one of the most popular seasonings in countries around the world. The peppercorns are dried fruits of a tropical vine that will not grow in more temperate climates. People have prized black pepper for thousands of years, giving it a prominent role in traditional medicine and trade as well as in cooking. For example, traditional healers used black pepper to aid digestion, soothe stomach problems, and treat sore throat, colds, asthma, itching, pain, and breathing and heart problems.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF BLACK PEPPER

Recent research validates powerful health benefits of this everyday spice. While black pepper contains (more…)

Cancer Is a Whole Body Disease

Saturday, May 4th, 2013
The highlight of the UCSDIntegrative Oncology Conference was listening and speaking to Dr. T Colin Campbell, author of the masterpiece The China Study

The highlight of the UCSD
Integrative Oncology Conference for me was listening and speaking to Dr. T Colin Campbell, author of the masterpiece The China Study

The UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine Treats and Prevents Cancer By Helping Your Body to Heal Itself

You may think of cancer as a discrete mass of cells with a life of its own. Every kind of cancer is labeled with the part of the body it first targeted. Yet your whole body is key to preventing and healing cancer, regardless of the type. To a great extent, all cancers begin in your mind, when you tell yourself to eat risky foods and spend the evening stressing out while sitting on the sofa. With the right knowledge and motivation, you can just as easily make healing lifestyle choices.

The University of California San Diego (UCSD) Center for Integrative Medicine weaves together open-minded conventional medicine with evidence-based approaches that go beyond drugs and surgery. I was privileged to attend the Center’s April 2013 Conference on Integrative Oncology, which brought together a range of perspectives on taming cancer using a whole body approach to strengthen self-healing.

The China Study‘s brilliant author, T Colin Campbell, PhD, was a keynote speaker. Dr. Campbell reviewed the highlights of research over decades that develops (more…)

Why Meat Can Magnify the Dangers of Alcohol

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Your liver is a vital organ that is essential for health – and for survival. Drinking to excess can injure and eventually destroy your liver.

Wine and Cheese May Be a Particularly Toxic Combination

Drinking too much over a period of years is even more deadly than smoking. Alcohol can damage your brain, liver, digestive system, and other body systems. A recent study found that death rates were twice as high for alcohol-dependent men and almost five times as high for alcohol-dependent women, compared to the general population. Some studies have found small amounts of alcoholic drinks to be protective of heart health, although this may be due to beneficial phytochemicals in the plants the drinks were made from.

You should consult your physician to determine the amount of alcohol (if any) it’s best to set your limits at. The information in this article is educational and not intended to tell you whether you should drink or (if you do) how much; only a licensed health care professional who is familiar with your health history can do that.

Whatever your choice on consuming alcohol, you should know that that animal foods, such as meat and cheese, may boost the normal dangers of drinking by accelerating (more…)

Lavender: A Colorful Flavor

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

The bees were so interested in the lavender that they did not both the human visitors. These bees were too busy with their tasks of pollination and making their own food to fly up to us.

Enrich Your Cooking With the Distinct Taste and Fragrance of Lavender

I’d never seen so many hard-working bees. As I relaxed into the rural vista, surrounded by fields of lavender in stunning purples, the hum of the bees soothed me into bliss. The fragrance of the flowers was the final calming element. Stress melted and vaporized.

I was at Keys Creek Lavender Farm in eastern San Diego County during the last weekend in May. The peak blooming season this far south (more…)

Ten Ways Mint Helps You Thrive

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Mint leaves and fruit are an excellent combination.

Enjoy the Refreshing Herb Mint During the Holidays – And Year Round

You may think of mint as a common herb that you casually use for its flavor and aroma. Minty candy canes symbolize the winter holiday season. Iced mint tea is refreshing in the summer heat.

People around the world cultivate mint or enjoy (more…)

Vitamin D: the Good, the Necessary, and the Toxic

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

This Misnamed Essential Can Accumulate to Dangerous Levels

This is the first-choice source of vitamin D for most people. The sun, which powers life on earth, also energizes your skin to manufacture vitamin D, which is better understood as a hormone than as a vitamin.

To understand how to get enough vitamin D without poisoning yourself with too much, first you need to realize that this essential is not a vitamin at all. By definition, a vitamin must come from what you eat. Yet vitamin D is scarce or nonexistent in virtually all foods, unless artificially added.

Nature intended that humans manufacture their own vitamin D when certain ultraviolet rays from the sun strike skin. How do we know this? Because your skin cells have the ability to make D, and will do so whenever you allow them to. Humans thrived for eons before vitamin D supplements were available, so clearly these are not necessary for healthy life.

Vitamin D is actually a hormone, a necessary substance your body makes by itself. This essential was misnamed back in the 1920s, when researchers were first discovering (more…)

Eat More, Wrinkle Less

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Prevent Wrinkles with Whole Foods – And Protect Your Health in the Process

Your skin, your largest and heaviest organ, mirrors the health of your body. Your 20 pounds or more of skin protect you, regulate body temperature, make essential chemicals, and allow you to feel touch, temperature, and pressure.

Changes in skin with aging are normal. Premature wrinkles, though, can be a marker for a poor diet.

Changes in skin with aging are normal. Premature wrinkles, though, can be a marker for a poor diet.

The complexity of your skin is dazzling and important to appreciate. In just one square inch of skin you have about 500 sweat glands, 1,000 nerve endings, yards of tiny blood vessels for nourishment, 100 oil glands, 150 pressure sensors, and millions of cells. This intricate structure is separated into an inner and outer layer of skin. Each layer, in turn, has its own distinct architecture of many additional layers.

The deeper skin layer has both tough and stretchy protein fibers. As you age, your skin becomes thinner and less elastic. The protein fibers have less ability to bind water to keep your skin plumped.

Wrinkles form. While these marks of long life can be beautiful, the larger concern is that premature skin aging signals poor eating habits that can impair longevity and enjoyment of life. A diet rich in whole plant foods shields your skin from damage that can lead to wrinkling. Here’s why.

Radiation from the sun or a tanning booth causes free radicals to form. These are electrically charged particles that can damage cells in your skin.

Note free radicals emerge as part of normal metabolism, so all your cells (skin included) are bombarded by these hazardous particles even without (more…)